New Castle to Stoneboro

The New Castle Branch

Point of Interest

This abandoned line started out as the New Castle and Franklin Railroad, which began construction of the line northward from New Castle in 1873. They built as far north to Mercer Junction that same year, and finished the route north to Stoneboro the following year. The line changed hands several times over the years, until the Pennsylvania Railroad acquired it in 1918. Some of the line was abandoned under PRR's ownership, while the rest of the line was abandoned under Penn Central.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

Docket Number: 12128 Date: 8/5/1938 Section: 1
App. of Western New York and Pennsylvania Ry Co. Lessee, for abandonment of that portion of the former's New Castle Branch extending from Houston Junction to Stoneboro, a distance of 12.3 miles and a four mile side track known as Jacking Siding, all in Mercer County, PA.
Length: 12.3 miles Citation: 230 ICC 386  

i noticed abandoned bridges on this line.if there is any rail,please let me know.thank you.

george oakley
reading, PA


There are many bridges on this line. The PRR spent a considerable amount of money to upgrade the many bridges after they took control of the line from the WNY&P un 1901. The Pennsy upgraded the physical plant - track, bridges, and signaling. There is no rail left in Mercer county PA. The portion north of Jackson Center, PA to Stoneboro, Pa was abandoned around 1939. The remaining portion serving the coal mines in Jackson Center to almost 1970. There is a piece of captive rail where a mine spur line crossed the US 62 & PA 965 intersection in the parking lot of southeast quadrant. The rail, mines, and industries they supported are all gone; only the memories remain.

Jason Sippola
Sharon , PA


thanks for the information you said,after the mines where you are at shut down we had the same thing happen in the northeast pa. area would be nice to eventually check out these locations if possible.keep in touch.

george oakley
reading, PA


A very small portion of this railroad remains in service in New Castle. It is owned by the New Castle Industrial Railroad.

Ron Mele
Pinson, AL


Just north of New Castle, the rails and ties were still intact until 1980/81. At that point, the rails were pulled up, and the ties left for locals to scavenge. My brother and I pulled several dozen ties and hauled them out on a flatbed bound for Ohio for property improvements and barriers. I lived in NC between 1975 and 1977, during which my school mates and I would frequently walk the tracks along the river, past an abandoned limestone mine and coke ovens.

Mike Sisko
Los Angeles, CA


Mike,do you remember where exactly the abandoned limestone mine and coke ovens were?It would be great to check them out if they are still there.

george oakley
reading, PA


They're just north of downtown New Castle along the Neshannock Creek. The mine openings were sealed around 1990. Remnants of the coke oven and an old brick factory are nearby as well

Adam Brooks
New Castle, PA


Thanks Adam.I do like to explore old places like these for the historical references to the area.

george oakley
reading, PA


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